This was Florida's 8th trip to the Sugar Bowl, having gone 2–5 in their previous seven appearances, the last being a 37–20 loss to Miami in 2001. For Cincinnati, this was their first appearance in the Sugar Bowl and their second in a BCS bowl game. In the only previous matchup of these two teams, in 1984, the Gators defeated the Bearcats 48–17. Urban Meyer, the head coach of Florida in the 2010 Sugar Bowl, was a member of that Cincinnati team in 1984.
Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow broke two records for the Bowl Championship Series. He threw for a BCS record 482 passing yards and set another BCS record with 533 total yards.
Cincinnati Wide Receiver/Returner Mardy Gilyard also broke Sugar Bowl records for return yards in the game.
On December 26, 2009, Meyer announced that he would take a leave of absence as head coach after the Sugar Bowl due to health and family reasons.
Florida won the game by a score of 51 points to 24.